Adolf Wallenberg

Adolf Wallenberg (1862-1949)

Adolf Wallenberg (1862-1949) was a German neurologist.

Eponymously affiliated with Wallenberg Syndrome aka lateral medullary syndrome which he first described clinically in 1895 and anatomically defined (autopsy) in 1901.

While working with Ludwig Edinger (1855-1919) he described the avian brain, and examined the role of the olfactory system in the assessment, recognition, and ingestion of food. Wallenberg and Edinger also published the Jahresberichte über die Leistungen auf dem Gebiete der Anatomie des Zentralnervensystems [Annual reports on services in the field of anatomy of the central nervous system]


  • Born 10 November 1862 Starogard Gdański, Poland son of the district’s physician Samuel Wallenberg
  • Studied Medicine in Heidelberg under the guidance of teachers including Wihelm Erb
  • 1886 – Doctorate, University of Leipzig under Strümpell and Weigert. Dissertation on poliomyelitis
  • 1891 – Sustained a base of skull fracture whilst horse riding. Suffered from diplopia and anosmia
  • 1895 – First clinically described Lateral Medullary Syndrome
  • 1901 – Anatomically defined the Lateral Medullary Syndrome
  • 1914-1918 – Served in the German Army in WWI
  • 1938 – Fled the Nazi invasion of Danzing, retreating to Oxford teaching clinical neurology with neuroanatomist LeGros Clark
  • 1943 – Emigrated to the United States and took up residency lecturing a state mental hospital near Chicago
  • 10 April 1949 Died in Manteno, Illinois, USA

Medical Eponyms

Major Publications


  • Zeidman LA, Mohan L. Adolf Wallenberg: giant in neurology and refugee from Nazi Europe. J Hist Neurosci. 2014;23(1):31-44. [PMID 24256512]
  • Fresquet JL. Adolf Wallenberg (1862-1949). Historia de la Medicina.

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and informatics. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | vocortex |

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